With new MPs in our caucus and a general parliamentary reshuffle underway we Greens are on the move out of our offices. While it’s still not certain where we are off to, this time it looks like we’re big enough to warrant two rather than one floor of Bowen House. Gerry Brownlee was wandering about our floor yesterday eyeing up our current offices but I’m not sure whether it was for some of his expanded caucus or if he was intending to exile some of the depleted Labour MPs over here. My view across to the Beehive lawn is likely to remain though – just from a different height.
This segues rather obliquely on to the topic of Barack Obama. You’ll remember that last month I noted that Michael Pollan was calling on Obama to give political thought and action towards food, and as an immediate first step send a message to the people of America by growing his own food on the White House lawn. I argued that such a vege garden could work here at Parliament too. Well, it turns out that Obama HAS been reading and digesting Pollan’s work:
There is no better potential driver that pervades all aspects of our economy than a new energy economy. I was just reading an article in the New York Times by Michael Pollan about food and the fact that our entire agricultural system is built on cheap oil. As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the mean time, it’s creating monocultures that are vulnerable to national security threats, are now vulnerable to sky-high food prices or crashes in food prices, huge swings in commodity prices, and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs because they’re contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in healthcare costs. That’s just one sector of the economy. You think about the same thing is true on transportation. The same thing is true on how we construct our buildings. The same is true across the board.
So, how about that, John Key? I can tell you’ve been busy over the last few days, what with the increasingly bizarre positioning statements from Rodney Hide and all to deal with. But have you had time to brush up on food policy by reading a little bit of Pollan like Obama has? I’m expecting my new office window should have a great view of the lawn the front of the Beehive where you could grow a mighty fine crop of spuds, rhubarb and carrots.